Imagine if the metaverse actually had no humans. The Simulation by Fable Studio. is a metaverse that allows its community of users to collaboratively create a virtual world inhabited only by artificially-intelligent characters.
“What if there was a place in the metaverse for AIs where you could get to know AIs, where you could actually interact with virtual beings and connect with them and nurture them and help them grow?” (Edward Saatchi, CEO of Fable)
The first town in the AI-powered metaverse The Simulation has been launched by Fable Studio, a technology studio that has won Emmy Awards for its virtual reality characters.
Users can bring their NFTs to sign up and adopt AI characters that will inhabit and play in the virtual world.
Fable sees the majority of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as currently being imprisoned in the wallets of their owners. With The Simulation, they aim to bring these NFTs to life with AI and offer them their own place in an ‘AI Disneyland’, a “virtual world with rich daily events” to create a metaverse that enables these AI characters to eventually become human-level intelligent, something they call artificial general intelligence (AGI).
“The mission of The Simulation is to build and incentivize the community that will eventually create the first Virtual Being. There is no greater goal than to create a new intelligent species” (Fable)
Users will train these characters and set them ‘free’ in the world to evolve into next-gen virtual beings.
The combination of web3 gaming, machine learning (ML) technology and AI character innovation should create a combination of the movie Free Guy and the “best bits” of Westworld, in other words an amusement park with no dystopia.
In Free Guy, AI characters lived in their own video game world as non-playable characters (NPCs). In Westworld, a futuristic theme park is inhabited by Androids who eventually go rogue.
“We stopped thinking that the future was the movie Her, and started thinking that the future was Free Guy and Westworld and societies of AIs” (Edward Saatchi)
Fable wants to take AIs beyond one-to-one human conversations and simple chatbot roles to create “societies of AIs”.
Speaking about the evolution of AI characters beyond chatbots:
“... they lack three big things: coherence, persistence and memory … (and are) usually extremely boring to talk to. They can talk for hours, but it’s mind-numbing because they have no actual lives. They have a prompt, which is three or four paragraphs. And that’s really all that they have to refer to you to kind of improvise the stuff” (Edward Saatchi).
Furthermore, the AI characters developed in The Simulation will eventually be able to follow their adopter owners outside of The Simulation into other metaverses.
Owners will be incentivized by a simulate-to-earn economy based on how successful they are in training their virtual beings to simulate human-like behavior with their conversation and actions, including the art, music and stories their AI character creates.
“... it is our belief that a financially incentivized community “playing” AI as a videogame, will find the conditions for emergent AI faster than a single corporation or academic institution. Web3 gaming offers the best opportunity to AGI by harnessing such a decentralized, competitive community.” (Fable)
“Nouns Town” is the first land within The Simulation and has been inspired by the Nouns NFT project, with style cues from the NFT collection used to create a home for the Nouns NFTs to inhabit. The Nouns project mints a new NFT every 24 hours and uses the revenue to bootstrap its DAO’s treasury (around $40 million currently) which is used for community-service initiatives voted for by the DAO.
Fable plans to eventually have affiliated lands for all the top 75 NFT projects, with each themed around each collection’s core values and with their own rituals, culture and history. For example, Nouns NFTs core value is “Be of service”. Fable plans to have over a million AI characters living in the connected virtual world.
“I think building a Web3 version of The Sims, built from scratch today with the AI tools that we have, across language or across synthetic speech, across systems design — I think that’s really powerful.”(Edward Saatchi)
Ex-Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey’s new decentralized social media app “Bluesky Social” announces plans to launch soon, potentially disrupting a multi-trillion dollar industry.
"... a competitor to any company trying to own the underlying fundamentals for social media or the data of the people using it" (Jack Dorsey, buyer of the property)
Bluesky aims to revolutionize the way social media industry and the way its companies operate by being built on a decentralized foundation that allows users to move their data from platform to platform.
This comes at a time of increasing concern and scrutiny of data privacy, value and consent. The World Economic Forum (WEF)claims 90% of all data ever produced was created in the last two years alone. While the personal data economy has been valued at over $5 trillion based on US-only data driven companies (source: Cambridge University policy report).
The Bluesky app will be a “protocol for large-scale distributed social applications that will allow for account portability, algorithmic choice, interoperability and performance". Something that is being referred to as ‘federated social’ or a ‘federated network’.
“A federation is a group of computing or network providers agreeing upon standards of operation in a collective fashion." (Wikipedia)
“[Bluesky’s underlying protocol] is a new federated social network. It integrates ideas from the latest decentralised technologies into a simple, fast, and open network” (Bluesky)
Users and not the applications they use will have control over user data. This despite not putting any content on a blockchain.
“I'm confident in our decision to not put social media content on a blockchain. It's blockchain optional and blockchain agnostic. I personally wouldn't build a system that backs up your posts on-chain.” (Jay Graber, Bluesky CEO)
Despite the lack of blockchain usage, it is expected that the app will appeal to crypto natives and privacy-concerned users alike as development of the app has been conducted with the values of transparency and decentralized in mind.
“The work must be done transparently in the open, not owned by any single private corporation, furthering the open and decentralised principles of the internet.” (Jack Dorsey)
Ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey first announced the initiative to develop a decentralized social network protocol back in 2019,funded at the time by Twitter but operating independently as a public benefit LLC, meaning that any impending takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk will have no influence on its operations.
“Bluesky has received $13 million to ensure we have the freedom and independence to get started on R&D.” (Bluesky)
Time will tell if Jack Dorsey can right the wrongs of Twitter’s past and show us that blue skies are ahead for the future of online social interaction.
“The biggest issue and my biggest regret is that it became a company” (Jack Dorsey)
Meanwhile, Elon Musk has already hinted at decentralization and a Web3 future for Twitter once he completes its takeover.
"I think it's worth both trying to move Twitter in a better direction and doing something new that's decentralised.” (Elon Musk)
Interested users can sign up for the Bluesky beta program via the waitlist here:
L’Oréal, Meta, and the French business school HEC Paris have partnered to focus on creativity and innovation in the metaverse and Web3 ecosystem via a new startup acceleration program.
“We are proud to associate ourselves to L’Oréal thanks to this ambitious project which aims to support the French startup ecosystem, that will have a key role in the building of a shared, creative and inclusive metaverse.” (Laurent Solly, VP Meta Southern Europe)
A program to support 5 entrepreneurial startups dedicated to creativity in the metaverse has been announced by Meta, the L’Oréal Groupe in France and HEC Paris’s Incubateur that will support their building of a diverse and inclusive metaverse. Meta AI researchers and experts from L’Oréal will provide mentorship to the selected group.
"Creators are at the heart of the Metaverse. The program aims to support & empower the ecosystem that will build it, and that can pave the way to go beyond story telling – to a brand story living, in accordance with our values – to be inclusive, diverse, sustainable by design." (Asmita Dubey, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer at L’Oréal)
Projects that can apply for the incubator will range from metaverse user experience, metaverse economics, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), 3D production, including Web3 and avatar-focused technologies.
Applications are currently open until November 20th 2022. Successful entrants will be chosen by a jury of experts from Meta, L’Oréal, HEC members and entrepreneurs and investors based on the strength of each project’s fundamentals relating to diversity and inclusion. The selected group will be mentored from January through to June 2023 and be placed at Station F, the “world’s startup largest campus in Paris” which boasts over 1,000 startups in its community.